Clean Equipment

Clean food preparation equipment, including bottles, dishes and utensils, is an important component of food safety. Bottles, bottle components, dishes and utensils should be washed and sterilized between uses to prevent bacteria from growing on the surfaces and reduce the risk of transmitting illness from person-to-person.

Washing bottles, dishes and utensils

To wash bottles:

  • Separate all components of the bottle
  • Submerge bottle and components in hot, soapy water
  • Wash components with a clean cloth; use a bottle brush to dislodge any remaining formula or milk from the bottle
  • Rinse bottle and components in hot water
  • Sterilize bottle and components
  • Dry thoroughly before putting bottles back together

To wash dishes and utensils:

  • Wash dishes and utensils with a clean cloth; use a scrub brush to dislodge any remaining food particles
  • Rinse dishes and utensils in hot water
  • Sterilize dishes and utensils
  • Dry thoroughly before storing

Sterilizing bottles, dishes and utensils

Local regulations may dictate how institutions should sterilize bottles, dishes and utensils before use. Dishes and utensils can be sanitized chemically by dipping in a bleach-water solution of 8 milliliters (1/2 tablespoon) of chlorine bleach and 4 liters (1 gallon) of water. After submersing in a bleach-water solution, allow dishes and utensils to air-dry. NOTE: Excessive use of chlorine can be toxic. It is not recommended that bottles be sterilized with bleach-water solutions. Bottles, dishes and utensils can also be sterilized using a sterilizing cabinet. Sterilizing cabinets, when operated according to the manufacturer’s directions, use ultraviolet light to sterilize bottles, dishes and utensils. The most economical way to sterilize bottles, dishes and utensils is with boiling water.

To sterilize using boiling water:

  • Submerge items in a large pot of water
  • Heat water until it boils
  • Boil items in water for at least 5 minutes to sterilize
  • Carefully remove items from boiling water using tongs or a slotted spoon